Thread Number: 75235  /  Tag: Refrigerators
What is the optimal freon level for vintage refrigerator GE LW 11P?
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Post# 990578   4/13/2018 at 13:54 (191 days old) by vintage-stuff (Long Beach, CA)        

I have a vintage GE wall hung refrigerator/freezer that needs a refill of freon. I have the freon with a gauge, but cannot figure out how much I should fill. I have been on all sorts of blogs and websites, but no-one seem to have an answer. Everyone proposes to retrofit it, but that is not what I want to do (yet).

I have downloaded a vintage brochure about these old refrigerators of 98 pages, but it says nothing about psi for the freon.

Does anyone have an idea?

Thank you in advance!

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Post# 990772 , Reply# 1   4/15/2018 at 01:52 (189 days old) by Stan (Napa CA)        

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You recharged a refrigerator before?
If it's low in freon, you may have a small leak. You may need a pro to test for leak, repair and refill with freon or a suitable replacement.

Post# 990773 , Reply# 2   4/15/2018 at 02:08 (189 days old) by Stan (Napa CA)        

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There should be a tag on the compressor somewhere showing the amount of freon required.

Post# 990805 , Reply# 3   4/15/2018 at 10:37 (189 days old) by Lorainfurniture (Cleveland )        
Charge by weight only

As mentioned above, there is a data card somewhere mentioning the specific weight of refrigerant needed. Vacuum the system completely and charge the specific amount of (r-12?). If r12 it can be bought on eBay pretty cheap.

If you want to just wing it, charge the fridge until you get a reading of 2-3 psi on the low side. Wait a while and check again. If the low side line starts to frost you put too much. This will start to happen after about an hour or so. Look at the evaporator for a nice, even, full frost pattern.

Post# 990808 , Reply# 4   4/15/2018 at 10:40 (189 days old) by Lorainfurniture (Cleveland )        

That kind of looks like a rotary compressor. Iím not sure what the psi reading will be. Just charge slowly until you have a full frost pattern, and no frost on the low side line in the machine compartment.

Post# 990848 , Reply# 5   4/15/2018 at 15:30 (189 days old) by vintage-stuff (Long Beach, CA)        
Thank you

Thank you so much for your advice! I will check if there is a tag or info on the compressor before I refill. Thanks again, Greg

Post# 990851 , Reply# 6   4/15/2018 at 15:41 (189 days old) by RP2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

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The tag won't necessarily be attached to the compressor.  Often it's on the cabinet somewhere, usually a metal plate that has model number, serial number, and other specs stamped on it, including the amount of refrigerant required.

Post# 990887 , Reply# 7   4/15/2018 at 20:15 (188 days old) by funktionalart (Phoenix, AZ)        
Here's a Freon charge reference example....

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Keep in mind that my GE is a 1960 upright model, and circa 13 cu. ft....which is somewhat larger than the wall hung units. Mine takes a max of 3 lb. worth of R12:

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Post# 990889 , Reply# 8   4/15/2018 at 20:17 (188 days old) by funktionalart (Phoenix, AZ)        
Also, one *maybe* problem with refilling a GE of vintage:

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I have heard, and don't know if anyone here can verify or not: GE compressors of this vintage apparently require a specific connector type to fill with R12. I'm not sure if all refrigeration repair people have those or's worth investigating before calling someone over to do it.

Post# 991308 , Reply# 9   4/18/2018 at 19:31 (186 days old) by vintage-stuff (Long Beach, CA)        
Thank you functionalart!

On the label inside the fridge it says:
Test PR. 235 LB (HI AND LO) REFR. 3 LB MAX C CL2 F2, just like on the label that you showed.

Question now is - the gauge that I have with the R12 can doesn't seem to state pounds... Do you have any suggestions for me how to fill to the 3 lb?

Thank you so much for taking time for this!

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Post# 991315 , Reply# 10   4/18/2018 at 20:14 (185 days old) by Lorainfurniture (Cleveland )        
You physically have to weigh it.

Your gauges can only read pressure. To charge 3# of r12, you first have to vacuum the system completely (with a 2 stage vacuum pump), then charge the system by weighing it in.

Post# 991326 , Reply# 11   4/18/2018 at 21:53 (185 days old) by speedqueen (Harrison Twp, Michigan)        

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I watched someone charge a refrigeration system online, they used a digital scale and zeroed the scale with the refrigerant container on it, and then took the absolute value of whatever the scale said while gfilling it with the container still on the scale the whole time.

Post# 991338 , Reply# 12   4/18/2018 at 22:33 (185 days old) by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Charging an Older GE Ref

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Wow, I am not sure where to start, the posts above are either mostly or completely wrong.


It is best to use R-12 if possible in these older refs.


The only correct way to charge this ref is to measure the refrigerant in, Gauges are never used for charging a residential refrigerator.


On these GEs the correct charge weight in in the service manual, NOT on the model # tag, this ref does not require anywhere near 3 pounds of R-12, probably somewhere between 7 and 12 oz.


This is a piston compressor with a low side shell.


You should remove the leaky clamp-on charging port someone put on this ref. Then either use the GE charging tool with the built-in charging port or if the charging tool is not available braze on a proper charging port.


Then you need to pull a proper vacuum and see if it holds a vacuum, it is also ideal to replace the filter dryer.


If it holds a vacuum, then charge by weight and you should be in business.


John L.

Post# 991359 , Reply# 13   4/19/2018 at 04:52 (185 days old) by potatochips (Nova Scotia)        

Paul or turquoisedude has one of these too, I wonder if he has any model specific information on this!?

Post# 991362 , Reply# 14   4/19/2018 at 05:55 (185 days old) by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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I don't, unfortunately....  I would have definitely shared.   It was a miracle I figured out that resistor issue back in 2012! 

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